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#284915 - 07/09/17 11:59 PM Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5748
Loc: southern Cal
A while ago, we had a lively thread on sub $10 EDC knives. At one point I asked if anyone had any experience with the very low priced UST "survival knives." Apparently no one had.

I ordered couple of their products a while ago and have used them (lightly) now for about a month. I obtained a ParaKnife FS 2.0 and a Saber Cut Para knife 3.0 - both together cost a little over $20 bucks - prices will vary depending on the supplier, but they are pretty inexpensive. I am not sure that the 3.0 (3" blade length) is in the UST catalog anymore, but it may still be available. There is also a 4.0 which is very similar.

Both knives are way better than nothing, although not superlative examples of blade making art. Both are full tang, fashioned out of a single piece of 440C stainless, a type of cutlery I am attracted to - I also own a couple of CRKT Stiff kisses made in the same fashion.

Of the two, I prefer the 3.0. The blade is long enough for most usage and the para cord wrapped handle is comfortable. It comes with a nylon sheath which holds the knife securely in vertical belt carry. It did not cut as well right out of the box as my Skeletool CX, but that is no surprise.

The 2.0 is a bit more problematic. Also of stainless steel (probably 440C, although that is nowhere stated). It has a short saw, which seems sharp, although rather short for most tasks. it also has a bottle opener (?), a hex cut out, and a set of hex wrench cutouts in case one needs to adjust a nut. There is also a fire steel siting on the backside of the sheath, which bulks up the package considerably. There is also a centimeter scale, which everyone knows is absolutely essential for survival....

Oddly enough, the hex cut out is not 1/4", and hence cannot deploy any of the various hex drive gadgets one might have handy. With the fire steel, the total package is quite bulky, and the various gadgets do not seem all that useful, with the partial exception of the saw.

If one desires a fire steel/blade combo, my preference is the LMF Fire Knife, which incorporates a fire steel within the handle is a very secure manner. I have used these for lighting canister stoves, with good results, and you have a good quality blade (Mora) as well. But they cost somewhat more (about $24 most places).

The 3.0 is a decent quality, lightweight knife with no frills, The 2.0 could be stowed in a kit (after sharpening) for occasional, intermittent use, although the winner in that category is the Ritter PSK, IMHO. That is what lives in my kit.....
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#284924 - 07/10/17 07:01 AM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 411
Loc: UK
Might have been some threads I posted to get the 300 dollar knife aficionados reachng for the overdose bottle :-)

One of Dougs recommended knives (see gear guide on home page) is:

Mora 731.. 5 3/4" carbon steel blade .098" thick. $16

https://www.ragweedforge.com/SwedishKnifeCatalog.html


The mora robust is the same price. here's an attempted destruction test on one

https://youtu.be/fKlcBpKbAvM

and folders for less than that:

https://youtu.be/fYSYoFDoh-E

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#284926 - 07/10/17 11:32 AM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 411
Loc: UK

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#284960 - 07/12/17 12:42 PM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
Pete Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/20/09
Posts: 1137
speaking of cheap knives ...

I had one nice kitchen knife, which i used for peeling vegetables. it looked like one of those expensive German kitchen knives ... or so i thought.

a couple of weeks ago i accidentally dropped it on the concrete. the blade immediately shattered and broke off the handle. the fall was only 3 feet.

unbelievable.

i suggest that you check your cheap knives by using the drop test :-)

Pete

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#284994 - 07/14/17 10:34 PM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2553
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Inexpensive kitchen knives tend to be brittle because of the way they are ground (thin) and the way they are tempered. Keeping them harder gives better edge holding ability, but they are at higher risk of breakage from sudden impacts or torquing/twisting.

Inexpensive outdoors knives seem to be tempered back to give reasonable toughness (at the expense of edge holding ability). For folders at least, the handles tend to break before the blades do -- or at least they used to, since I haven't had a catastrophic failure in a long time.

Note that manufacturers of inexpensive knives often cheat a little, burning the temper on the edge during final sharpening. It's a thin little layer that stays sharp longer, but it's the devil to sharpen after because it also creates a tough layer right underneath. Once you chew through that, and it takes work, you're into the regular steel of the rest of the blade.

I have burned up a lot of inexpensive ($10) knives over the years. They take the unreasonable **** and abuse of rough work, saving my good knives and Leathermans from unnecessary wear and tear.

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#284996 - 07/14/17 11:53 PM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 1956
Loc: NE Illinois
Easily, my favorite inexpensive knife is the Morakniv Robust. Just $16 (plus shipping) gets you a really amazing high quality knife. Carbon blade, thicker blade than most Moras, and grippy handle. The sheath is the typical plastic, but I think its OK.

If I had to get a stainless steel Mora right now, it would probably be either of these, though I have not used these specific models (I have a model with a black modified handle and the same blade as the Mora 2000):

the Mora Kansbol (#12634) for $33.99 ... nice unique looking handle with the Mora 2000 blade ...

or the orange handle/sheath version of the Mora 2000 (#12057) for $29.50 ... I just can't deal with the goofy green of the regular Mora 2000 ($2000).

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#284997 - 07/15/17 12:02 AM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 1880
Loc: Great Plains
Mora knives are excellent across the board. I have many of them.
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#284999 - 07/15/17 02:07 AM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2553
Loc: Alberta, Canada
There's nothing "cheap" about Moras -- they punch way above their weight, with none of the compromises I mentioned.

They're almost twice the price of the "beater blades" I buy on clearance -- mostly folders. I just like Moras too much to abuse them.

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#285014 - 07/15/17 11:01 PM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5748
Loc: southern Cal
Yes, Moras are lower priced, but they are definitely not "cheap." I think it is safe to say they represent an excellent value and would generally be first choice in the lower price range.
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#285023 - 07/17/17 08:27 PM Re: Inexpensive knives, ver. 2.0 [Re: hikermor]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3537
Loc: Ontario, Canada
I paid about $35 for each of my three Moras - a Light My Fire, a Companion HD and an Eldris. They're work horses and I love them.
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